OBJECTIVES: This narrative review aimed to understand and evaluate the level of in-depth breast cancer knowledge in terms of clinical breast examination and breast self-examination, and other important aspects such as side-effects and risk factors in Malaysian females. Since Malaysia is multicultural, this review assessed social perceptions, cultural beliefs and help-seeking behaviour in respect to breast cancer among different ethnic groups, since these may impinge on efforts to 'avoid' the disease.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A comprehensive literature search of seven databases was performed from December 2015 to January 2015. Screening of relevant published journals was also undertaken to identify available information related to the knowledge, perception and help-seeking behaviour of Malaysian women in relation to breast cancer.
RESULTS: A total of 42 articles were appraised and included in this review. Generally, women in Malaysia had good awareness of breast cancer and its screening tools, particularly breast self-examination, but only superficial in-depth knowledge about the disease. Women in rural areas had lower levels of knowledge than those in urban areas. It was also shown that books, magazines, brochures and television were among the most common sources of breast cancer information. Delay in presentation was attributed mainly to a negative social perception of the disease, poverty, cultural and religion practices, and a strong influence of complementary and alternative medicine, rather than a lack of knowledge.
CONCLUSIONS: This review highlighted the need for an intensive and in-depth breast cancer education campaigns using media and community health programmes, even with the existing good awareness of breast cancer. This is essential in order to avoid misconceptions and to frame the correct mind-set about breast cancer among women in Malaysia. Socio-cultural differences and religious practices should be taken into account by health care professionals when advising on breast cancer. Women need to be aware of the risk factors and symptoms of breast cancer so that early diagnosis can take place and the chances of survival improved.
METHODS: This cross sectional study was conducted among 250 Malaysian women. Data were collected using a self administrated questionnaire which included questions on socio-demographic data, knowledge of breast cancer and awareness of mammography.
RESULTS: Mean age of respondents was 28 ± 9.2 with 69.2% aged 18 to 29 years. The majority had heard about breast cancer (81.2%) and indicated books, magazines and brochures as their source of information (55.2%). However, most did not know about signs and symptoms of breast cancer and many of its risk factors. On multivariate analysis, significant predictors of breast cancer knowledge were age, race, marital status, level of education, occupation, family size and family history of other cancers (p<0.05). Fifty percent of women were aware of mammography, significant predictors being age, occupation, marital status and knowledge of breast cancer (p<0.05).
CONCLUSION: Most women were aware of breast cancer. However, the knowledge about signs and symptoms of breast cancer and awareness of mammography were inadequate. It is recommended that the level of knowledge should be raised among Malaysian women, particularly in the less educated young.
DESIGN: A qualitative interview study with thematic analysis of transcripts.
PARTICIPANTS: 67 patients with self-discovered breast symptoms were included in the analysis. Of these, 36% were of Malay ethnicity, 39% were Chinese and 25% Indian, with an average age of 58 years (range 24-82 years). The number of women diagnosed at early stages of cancer almost equalled those at advanced stages. Approximately three-quarters presented with a painless lump, one-quarter experienced a painful lump and 10% had atypical symptoms.
SETTING: University hospital setting in Singapore and Malaysia.
RESULTS: Patients revealed barriers to early presentation not previously reported: the poor quality of online website information about breast symptoms, financial issues and the negative influence of relatives in both countries, while perceived poor quality of care and services in state-run hospitals and misdiagnosis by healthcare professionals were reported in Malaysia. The pattern of presentation by ethnicity remained unchanged where more Malay delayed help-seeking and had more advanced cancer compared to Chinese and Indian patients.
CONCLUSIONS: There are few differences in the pattern of presentation and in the reported barriers to seek medical care after symptom discovery between Singapore and Malaysia despite their differing economic status. Strategies to reduce delayed presentation are: a need to improve knowledge of disease, symptoms and causes, quality of care and services, and quality of online information; and addressing fear of diagnosis, treatment and hospitalisation, with more effort focused on the Malay ethnic group. Training is needed to avoid missed diagnoses and other factors contributing to delay among health professionals.
METHODS: A cross-sectional study was carried out among 262 female undergraduate students in University Putra Malaysia using a validated questionnaire which was developed for this study.
RESULTS: The mean age of respondents was 22∓2.3 years. Most of them were single (83.1%), Malay (42.3%) and 20.7% reported having a family history of breast cancer. Eighty-seven (36.7%) claimed they had practiced BSE. Motivation and self-efficacy of the respondents who performed BSE were significantly higher compared with women who did not (p<0.05).There was no association between BSE practice and demographic details (p<0.05). Logistic regression analysis indicated that women who perceived greater motivation (OR=1.089, 95%CI: 1.016-1.168) and had higher confidence of BSE (OR=1.076, 95%CI: 1.028-1.126) were more likely to perform the screening.
CONCLUSIONS: The findings show that Malaysian young female's perception regarding breast cancer and the practice of BSE is low. Targeted education should be implemented to improve early detection of breast cancer.
METHODS: The decisions of females above age 40 in Malaysia to test for breast cancer using BSE and mammography are jointly modeled using a bivariate probit so that unobserved attributes affecting mammography usage are also allowed to affect BSE. Data come from the Malaysia Non-Communicable Disease Surveillance-1, which was collected between September 2005 and February 2006.
RESULTS: Having ever performed BSE is positively associated with having ever undergone mammography among Malay (adjusted OR=7.343, CI=2.686, 20.079) and Chinese (adjusted OR=3.466, CI=1.330, 9.031) females after adjusting for household income, education, marital status and residential location. Neither relationship is affected by jointly modelling the decision problem. Although the association is also positive for Indian females when mammography is modelled separately (adjusted OR=5.959, CI=1.546 - 22.970), the relationship is reversed when both decisions are modelled separately.
CONCLUSIONS: De-emphasizing BSE in Malaysia may reduce mammography screening among a large proportion of the population. Previous work on the issue in developed countries may not apply to nations with limited resources.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the practice of BSE and its correlated factors and particularly barriers amongst urban women in Malaysia.
METHODS: This cross-sectional study was conducted with 222 Malaysian women using a self-administered questionnaire.
RESULTS: The mean (SD) age was 28.5 (±9.2) years, 59.0% were university graduates. Of the total, 81.1% were aware of breast cancer and 55% practiced BSE. Amongst 45% of respondents who did not practice BSE, 79.8% did not know how to do it, 60.6% feared being diagnosed with breast cancer, 59.6% were worried about detecting breast cancer, 22% reported that they should not touch their bodies, 44% and 28% reported BSE is embarrassing or unpleasant, 29% time consuming, 22% thought they would never have breast cancer or it is ineffective and finally 20% perceived BSE as unimportant. Logistic regression modeling showed that respondents aged ≥45 years, being Malay, married and having a high education level were more likely to practice BSE (p<0.05).
CONCLUSION: In this study sample, a significant proportion of respondents was aware of breast cancer but did not practice BSE. Knowledge, psychological, cultural, perception and environmental factors were identified as barriers. BSE practice was associated significantly with socio-demographic factors and socioeconomic status.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A cross-sectional study was carried out among 792 female undergraduate students in public universities in Klang Valley, Malaysia, from January to April 2011. Data were collected using a validated questionnaire developed for this study.
RESULTS: The mean age of respondents was 21.7±1.2 years. Most of them were single (96.8%), Malay (91.9%) and 150 (19.6%) claimed they had practiced BSE. There was a significant differences between performers and non-performers correlated to age, marital status, check breast by doctor, and being trained about BSE. Performers had lower mean scores for perceived barriers and susceptibility and higher mean score for confidence. Stepwise logistic regression analysis yielded four significant predictor variables.
CONCLUSIONS: Overall our findings indicate that the practice of BSE while perceived as being important is not frequently practiced among female in Malaysia. Targeted education should be implemented to improve early detection of breast cancer.
METHODS: A total of 1598 questionnaires were posted to all female staff, aged 35 years and above. Their knowledge on breast cancer, practice of BSE and detection rate of breast abnormality as confirmed by CBE was determined.
RESULTS: The response rate for this study was 45 percent (714 respondents). The rate of respondents having awareness on breast cancer was 98.7 percent. Eighty four percent (598) of the respondents had performed BSE in their lifetime. However, in only 41% was it regular at the recommended time. Forty seven percent (334) had undergone CBE at least once in a lifetime but only 26% (185) had CBE at least once in the past 3 years, while 23% (165) had had a mammogram. There was a significant relationship between CBE and BSE whereby those who had CBE were twice more likely to do BSE. Nineteen percent (84 respondents) of those who did BSE claimed they had detected a breast lump. Of these, 87% (73) had gone for CBE and all were confirmed as such.
CONCLUSION: BSE is still relevant as a screening tool of breast cancer since those who detect breast lump by BSE will most probably go for further check up. CBE should be done to all women, especially those at highest risk of breast cancer, to encourage and train for BSE.